Bride donates new wedding dress to hospice shop in gratitude for dad's care

Sinead Pryke and husband George Rudland with Sinead's father, John, on the couple's wedding day

Sinead Pryke and husband George Rudland with Sinead's father, John, on the couple's wedding day - Credit: Pryke Family

A Suffolk bride has donated a new wedding dress to a St Elizabeth Hospice shop to say thank you for her father's care.

Bride Sinead Pryke, who grew up in Woodbridge, donated the stunning Pronovias gown to the charity's shop in Heath Road, Ipswich.

She wanted to thank the hospice nurses who helped her dad, John, to be at her wedding in March, just 10 days before he died.

The wedding dress on display at the St Elizabeth Hospice shop in Heath Road, Ipswich

The wedding dress on display at the St Elizabeth Hospice shop in Heath Road, Ipswich - Credit: St Elizabeth Hospice

"The hospice nurses were like our little guardian angels. They were just amazing and were a very reassuring presence during such a stressful time," Sinead said.

Sinead, a pharmacist at King's College in London, and husband George Rudland planned their wedding last year, and she wanted to find a dress  suitable for all seasons in case of delays due to Covid.


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Her sister noticed the Pronovias bridal shop in New Bond Street, London, was offering a limited number of free wedding dresses to NHS workers, in gratitude for their work during the pandemic.

“I was lucky enough to win one of the dresses on offer, which was worth over £1,200. It really is stunning and has sleeves as well, which was ideal for me in case our wedding had to take place in winter, " Sinead said.

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“However, unfortunately, the dress was a little too big. Although I offered to donate it back to the shop, they said it was mine to keep.

George Rudland and Sinead Pryke celebrating their wedding with their families 

George Rudland and Sinead Pryke celebrating their wedding with their families - Credit: Pryke Family

"As a result, I decided to give the dress to St Elizabeth Hospice, as they had given such fantastic care to my dad and my family towards the end of his life.”

John passed away on March 23, having been diagnosed with lung cancer and a tumour on the brain. After his diagnosis, he received care from Macmillan Cancer Support and Ipswich Hospital, before coming under the care of St Elizabeth Hospice’s community team.

Nurses visited John in his home twice a day, five days a week, to provide pain management and support his wife, Anne. The support and additional equipment, such as a wheelchair, meant John could attend the wedding on March 13.

He was able to walk with his daughter before she took her vows, in an intimate ceremony at the family home, and delivered his father-of-the-bride speech.

“It was super special and we were lucky to have such an intimate ceremony. It was just perfect for us,” Sinead said.

George Rudland and Sinead Pryke on their wedding day

George Rudland and Sinead Pryke on their wedding day - Credit: Pryke Family

“Dad’s speech was very funny and it was so nice to be together as a family, especially after the difficult times brought by Covid-19 and Dad’s diagnosis."

She paid tribute to the hospice nurses, saying: “Nothing was too much to ask and they always had time to help us and we were very keen to give something back to them to say ‘thank you’.

"So when I realised I had the opportunity to donate the new wedding dress, I knew immediately I wanted it to go to the hospice, in hope it helps raise vital funds for their service and also helps make somebody else’s special day extra special.”

Brides-to-be can currently try the size 12 dress on at the Heath Road shop and bid for it via the hospice’s eBay shop.

For more information on St Elizabeth Hospice, visit the charity's website.

The wedding dress displayed at the Heath Road hospice shop in Ipswich

The wedding dress displayed at the Heath Road hospice shop in Ipswich - Credit: St Elizabeth Hospice


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